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How is Hook & Loop used in the Medical Industry?

Hook and loop has shown itself to be an extremely versatile technology. With uses in numerous industries, the use of hook and loop for medical applications is perhaps one of the most important. 

Medical grade hook and loop can be used for everything from a tourniquet and blood pressure cuffs, to assisting with orthopaedics. The use of the likes of hook and loop tape, and other products, have seen a surge in use during the Covid-19 pandemic. This has been a time when this technology has really come into its own and proven its worth. While its uses are numerous, we’re going to explore just some of the most common and popular.

What is hook and loop? 

 Before we explore the uses of medical grade hook and loop, we’re going to take a look at what this technology actually is, and where it came from. It is often referred to as ‘Nature’s way of fastening’ and comes from an accidental discovery that was first made in 1941. The story goes that a Swiss engineer was walking his dog and noticed that the barbs from a cocklebur plant were sticking to the dog, and his clothing. He found these extremely difficult to remove and so examined them closer to find out why. He saw that the barbs were made up of minuscule hooks that attached themselves to the loops within fibres. This led to the development of hook and loop technology that we use today.

Hook and loop during the pandemic

While hook and loop has long been used for medical applications, the pandemic heightened the need to keep such products in plentiful supply. Those who became seriously ill with Covid required ventilation while in hospital. This increased the demand for hook and loop products, as did the emergence of field type hospitals.

As hospitals were overflowing with patients, around the world health organisations sought to find solutions for the overspill. This saw hospitals being set up where there was a need to secure equipment to tent-like structures as well as ensure that wires attached to blood pressure monitors and the like were secured. The answer was found in hook and loop.

There was also a significantly increased demand for personal protective equipment (PPE). Medical grade hook and loop is used for:

Protective suits
Isolation gowns
Respirators
Sneeze guards
Curtains
Face shields

Medical grade hook and loop

While used across numerous sectors, hook and loop for medical applications has to be approached differently. Given the environments that it’s going to be used in, it must meet the relevant standards that the medical industry demands. For this reason, at HALCO, we partner with engineers and designers to ensure that the fastening products that we make are nothing short of exceptional. Let’s take a look at the wide range of uses that we cater for within the medical industry. Our medical grade hook and loop is used for: 

Headgear
Chin straps
Tourniquet straps
Finger splints
DVT sleeves
Orthopaedic braces
Blood pressure cuffs
Urinary bag straps
Wearable monitors
Compression cold wraps
Catheter patches
Tracheostomy straps

This is just a snapshot of how hook and loop is used. We’re going to take a look at some of the uses in more detail:

Blood pressure cuffs


Medical grade hook and loop is used in a wide range of medical diagnostic equipment. One of the most common, where you will see it being used, is in blood pressure cuffs. We perhaps all now take for granted that having our blood pressure taken is a relatively simple affair. Before the use of hook and loop, this was a less than pleasant experience. A cuff used to be either snapped or tied into place. The use of hook and loop on blood pressure cuffs has made this so much more comfortable.

Tourniquets


A tourniquet is a vital piece of life-saving medical equipment that takes advantage of hook and loop technology. By using hook and loop to correctly secure a tourniquet, medics can prevent shock that is associated with severe blood loss. The pressure applied by a hook and loop fastening allows for the slowing of blood that returns to the heart. This makes veins more visible and easier to examine.

Orthopaedics


Medical grade hook and loop provide exactly what is needed for orthopaedic devices. It offers fastening solutions that are reliable and strong. Not only this, but they also add to the overall comfort experienced by the user. Companies behind orthopaedic braces, binders, and belts all seek out hook and loop as they know that it provides the very best solution. Whether looking at the most simple of straps and slings, or more complex devices, nothing provides the strength and reliability offered by hook and loop.

Respiratory devices


When it comes to respiratory devices, there is a need for a level of comfort and ease of use. Equally important is the need for elasticity. Hook and loop tape provides the perfect solution here. The use of high quality, medical-grade, hook and loop products, means that the likes of chin straps, tracheotomy straps, and headgear can be used repeatedly, and adjusted, without performance being affected. 

Vascular care


Another one of the many hook and loop medical applications can be found when looking at vascular care devices. When you consider the likes of therapy for deep vein thrombosis and compression devices, these need to be adjustable, secure, and also comfortable.

Cable management


Aside from being used for direct patient care, hook and loop is also vital to cable management in medical settings. There are cables related to numerous computers as well as an array of medical equipment. The use of hook and loop tape ensures that these are kept organised and secure.

Final thoughts

We have only explored just some of the many uses of hook and loop in the medical industry. The versatility of this technology means that it can be deployed to fulfil a multitude of tasks wherever there is a need for an extremely secure fastening.

With so many factors to determine the best hook and loop solution for your requirements, we would highly recommend that you speak to one of the hook and loop specialists at HALCO. We’re happy to answer all enquiries and help you to make the best decision for your industrial application. To find out more about which medical application hook and loop products are available, browse our extensive range of fasteners or simply get in touch today and speak with an expert.

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